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What My Editor Taught Me about the Work of God

What My Editor Taught Me about the Work of God -christyfitzwater.com

Put yourself in my place, as my hands hovered over the computer keyboard. I was writing my first contact to an editor. Do you know how long I spent checking my email to her? She wielded a red pen for a living, and I was terrified of spelling something wrong or of making a grammar error.

But my experience with Elisabeth was completely unexpected.

We set up a Skype meeting, and I talked with this woman who was living on the outskirts of Jerusalem at the time. (Did that make me cool? To have an editor who lived outside of Jersualem? I thought yes.) We chatted and enjoyed getting to know each other. I felt a little more relaxed when we hung up.

Then I waited. She had my document in hand and was working on it. Checking my email for the first edits became a miserable routine.

One day, there was my document in my inbox.

In a great show of courage, I clicked open the document and hit “enable editing”. Scrolling through the first chapter of my book, I saw highlights in the document, with comments to the side.

In a minute, I’m going to give you a list about what I learned through the editing experience, but first I want you to know that I absolutely love my editor. I begged her to be my editor forever and considered putting her on retainer. Elisabeth edited one book for me and then began on my second. Because of circumstances in her life, the editing was delayed, so the publisher asked if I wanted to find another editor or wait for Elisabeth. I responded with 167 exclamation marks that it was Elisabeth or nobody.

What My Editor Taught Me about the Work of God

  1. My editor is a person, not a red pen. We worked on two of my books together, but in the end we shared a hope that someday we would get to sit across a table from each other and share a cup of coffee.
  2. My editor worked to fix my mistakes and to help me communicate more clearly, but she didn’t try to change the essence of my writing. She appreciated who I was and my unique writing voice.
  3. My editor was picky, and I valued that. I wanted to publish a perfect document, and she wanted me to publish a perfect document. Sometimes she sent the same paragraph to me three or four times, until we were both satisfied.
  4. My editor sprinkled kind, encouraging comments throughout the document. “I loved how you said this,” she would say. It took the edge off the corrections I had to make. She gave me hope that my book, as a whole, was good.
  5. My editor did a ton of work. There was a button in the editing program that said, “Accept Changes.” I would hit that, and most of the little changes she had suggested would be implemented automatically. I still had work to do on the document, but she carried the weight of it. It was awesome.

Blameless is the name of the book Elisabeth worked on for me, and it’s a book about God’s editing process in our lives. We have a relationship with him, and he cares about perfection in the way we want him to care. He works to change us into the flawless person we’ve always hoped to be. We do some of the work, but he does most of it. It is an incredible partnership he invites us into, as we put our faith in his Son, Jesus.

I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.  (Jeremiah 9:24 NIV)

So relax, will you? Don’t be nervous to know this God who has the red pen, because the pen is attached to a very, very kind hand.

And may I ask, what is the Lord “editing” in your soul these days?


  1. You are amazing! You inspire me (in more ways than one)! I loved your book and can’t wait to read more of them! There was so much truth that I could apply to my own life in it. I crave His wonderful presence and can’t wait to see what He will do in my life. Keep writing!:D
    -Estrella <3
    P.S. You are an amazing teacher, we are so blessed! 😉

  2. You inspire me! I loved your book! So much that I could relate to in my own life. I crave an intimate relationship with Him and can’t wait to see where He leads me next! Keep writing :D.
    -Estrella <3
    P.s. you are a fantastic teacher 😉

    1. Estrella!! You crazy girl. Thank you so much for these kind words! I’m pretty sure God knew I needed your cheerful face bouncing into my classroom every day this year.

      1. I’m so grateful that He gave me a wonderful teacher like you (one I’m actually comfortable with) <3!!!!
        -Estrella 😀

        1. Don’t you think you and I are two peas in a pod? Sometimes you just have to find someone who is like you, so you know that you’re normal and it’s everybody else who’s weird. Bahahaha!

          1. So true! Such a blessing <3
            – Estrella

  3. Beautiful! I’m so thankful for God’s consistent, concise and ongoing editing of my imperfect life! God is an amazing editor! Can’t wait to read your book!

  4. My God, my “editor”, has had a long row to hoe with me, but Bless Him, he’s not ever given up! Together we are working on my faith. He is teaching me how to lean on Him for ALL things and every day, thankfully, it’s getting a little bit easier. He is SO GOOD to me.

  5. Elisabeth says:

    Oh, this is from the most gracious lady ever, when it came to a delay in editing your manuscript! Thank you for this, Christy!

    1. Oh man, I should have made that point number six!!! Certainly we wait on the Lord to do his work at his pace, in his timing -and it’s worth the wait.

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